Hummus for the new year



Here is a recipe I like a lot. Actually, it is an adaptation of recipes from two sources, the food site AllRecipes and one of my favorite Indian-inspired cookbooks, Yamuna’s Table by the late rockstar chef, Yamuna Devi. She literally was a rockstar. She was a backup singer with the Beatles, cooked for Indira Gandhi,  and authored the much acclaimed Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, a dog-eared copy of which I keep easily accessible on my cookbook shelf.

Why not consider this colorful dish for your New Year’s table?

Recipe: Hummus
5 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. salt
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 seeded fresh jalapeno chile
2 T. chopped cilantro
8-10 fresh mint leaves

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place 5 unpeeled garlic cloves on a sheet of foil. Drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and fold foil to enclose the garlic cloves and oil. Bake packet for 15 minutes. Remove packet from oven and let the garlic cloves cool. Then squeeze garlic cloves out of peels.

In a food processor, combine roasted garlic cloves, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt. Blend until smooth. Add olive oil, jalapeno chile, cilantro and mint leaves and continue to process until the jalapeno, cilantro and mint leaves are throughly blended into the chickpea mixture.

Chill for a few hours to let the flavors blend together then spread hummus onto a decorative bowl or dish, using a spatula to make deep swirling designs in the hummus. Let hummus sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Then, drizzle a bit more good olive oil onto the dish and garnish.

Serve garnished with a few whole garbanzo beans, lightly-toasted  pine nuts, chopped parsley, pitted kalamata olives, pomegranate arils,  a pinch of paprika and a decorative ribbon of lemon peel. Serve with toasted pita bread wedges , a platter of crudites or simple crackers.

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